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Andrew Jackson, Ponte Vedra advance to boys' basketball State Championship games

The Tigers and Sharks join Bradford in the FHSAA finals. Bradford plays Friday night, while Jackson and PV hit the court Saturday.

For one, it's about finally getting over the hump.

For the other, it's unchartered territory.

Andrew Jackson (29-2) and Ponte Vedra (27-3) will continue their magical, 2022 seasons in the Class 4A and Class 6A State Championship games, respectively. For Jackson, Thursday's state semifinal appearance was their fourth straight; for Ponte Vedra, it was the program's first. 

Trailing by as many as 15 early, Jackson came back to beat Gibbs 58-45, using a late, 17-0 run to power their way back to the State Championship for the second time in those four seasons. A win would be the first basketball state championship for a Duval County public school since Raines won it all in 2004. The Tigers last won a basketball state championship in 1993, current head coach James Collins' senior season. 

The Tigers will face Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian in the Class 4A State Championship at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. 

Ponte Vedra had its fair share of drama in a back-and-forth affair with Winter Haven in their semifinal game Thursday. The Sharks trailed 22-21 at halftime, but, for a second straight week, came out of the intermission firing, this time to the tune of an 8-2 run. Ponte Vedra found themselves down two with a minute to go, but senior J.T. Kelly answered the bell once again with a three. Kelly then made a pair of free throws to push the lead to 57-54. Winter Haven got two looks at a game-tying three with under 10 seconds to play, but couldn't get either to fall.

The Sharks will face Martin County in the Class 6A State Championship at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. 

Bradford (15-10) is also onto the state title game. They will face Paxton in the Class 1A State Championship Friday night at 7 p.m. 

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